Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
January 29, 2009
The rapid approach of February 12, 2009 — Abe Lincoln’s 200th birthday — has spurred several communities to tie themselves to the 16th President with plaques, memorials, and statues. One such town is Elizabethtown, Kentucky, which has announced that by February 12 it will erect a monument on the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s dad and step-mom were married.
Awkwardly, the spot is now a parking space in front of an office supply store.
“Actually, our whole building sits on the spot where they were married,” said Brian Kerr, owner of Kerr Office Group. A plaque on the front of the store recounts the event and, according to Brian, the town decided that the best place for the memorial was the parking space in front of the plaque.
The memorial will be built out of rocks from the foundation of the house where Thomas and Sarah Lincoln were wed in 1819. The house was capriciously torn down a hundred years later, but the rocks were preserved, and have waited almost another hundred years to be put to noble use as a memorial in a parking space (It’s always memorable to see something other than a car in a parking space).
Brian told us that the town will attach a second plaque to the monument, and later add a bronze statue of either the newlyweds, or of a young Abe. This means that the memorial will take up two of his 15 parking spaces, but Brian doesn’t mind.
“It’s a real neat thing,” he told us. Brian hopes to link his store to the new monument with an office supply Lincoln penny sale, and he promised to consider our suggestion to put a tired-looking Abe in an office chair as a photo op.
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